Creating Letterboxed video on DVD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MarkHastings, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I have some 16x9 video that I've recorded and captured into my computer. I used Adobe Premier to edit all the clips and I've output a 16x9 (1.2 pixel width) DV AVI file. I've burned the DVD and played it in my DVD player (on my 16x9 tv) and everything is fine and dandy.

    My problem is, my brother wants a copy of the DVD for himself. He does not have a 16x9 tv, so I have to create a DVD with the black bars on top and bottom.

    To back up a bit and answer the obvious question ("Why not have the DVD add the black bars?")...I am using NeoDVDPlus to create my DVD's. It's not a pro piece of software, but it'll do for right now. The problem with the software (and what I understand), it doesn't allow me to flag the anamorphic (16x9) video so that a DVD player will add the black bars (automatically) in 4x3 mode. I've tried this with my 16x9 DVD and I just can't get the player to add the bars.

    Back to my issue. I figured by taking the video into Premiere and shrinking the height, I'd be adding the black bars myself. I shrunk the height by 83.3% (which created a letterbox look to the video), then output a 0.9 pixel DV AVI File, then I burned that to the DVD.

    The letterbox trick worked (i.e. it added the black bars to the video) , but I'm having a BAD interlacing problem. I assume the interlacing got screwed up when I shrunk the video in Premiere???? I've already gone through a few blank DVD's and I really can't afford to play around with different scenarios.

    I have a DVD-RW drive, but (obviously) the interlacing problems don't show up on the computer so I'm stuck with burning DVD-R's and testing them on my tv.

    Does anyone have any suggestions????

    Thanks


    p.s. I also assumed that maybe resizing the height to 83.3% might be bad, so I tried an even number and that didn't work either. I've even tried outputting the video as an uncompressed avi with 'Deinterlacing' checked and that still didn't get rid of the interlacing.
     
  2. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    TMPEG ENC can do this for you (you can get a free trial version).

    Here is a quick run down, I'm doing this all by memory so I may be a little off.

    Start TMPEG
    Close out the wizard if it pops up
    load you video up
    hit the settings button
    go to advanced
    Then you can set the size of your video, and you can keep the aspect ratio. There will be choices like center keep aspect ratio, center custom size, etc.

    Hope that helps. I don't have TMPG here at work so I can't give you a better explanation
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    You can also flag the stream as 16:9 and the player automatically downconverts

    I believe John Berger wrote a program to do that
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I didn't see anything on MedioStream's site about NeoDVDPlus supporting 16x9 DVDs, so I don't think that my tool will matter in this case.
     
  5. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    John,

    Thanks for checking. When you say it doesn't support 16x9 DVD's, I assume you are referring to the flags on an anamorphic video that squishes video (by the player) on 4x3 tv's?

    In the meantime, I was able to use Adobe After Effects to add the black bars and render an uncompressed AVI without interlacing...that method worked well for me, but it's just an awkward way of doing things.

    Does anyone know how to do this properly through Premiere? or can anyone recommend another DVD software package that flags 16x9 video for letterbox "squishing" on a 4x3 tv? Preferably cheap.

    How about Sonics DVDit?
    http://www.dvdit.com/about_features.html
    One of the features is "Widescreen (16:9) Video Support", is this what I'm looking for?


    Chris, I checked out TMPEG ENC, but all I saw was the VCD version (i.e. MPEG-1).
     
  6. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  8. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  9. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  10. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  11. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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  12. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    The drawback to TMPGenc, however, is that you have to encode twice - once to create the master AVI file then again to rerender it through TMPGenc to MPEG-2. Depending on the speed of the system, that could take a huge amount of time.

    So, anyone looking at this will have to balance the time needed to do this sort of thing with the cost of having a video editing package that can do all of this right out of the box. (From what I've heard, MSP 7.0 will now create 16:9 MPEG-2 files as well, thus preventing the need to re-run an MPEG-2 file through my tool or TMPGenc.)
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  14. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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  15. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  16. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    Ah gotcha, I thought you were saying you would have to take the original avi, re-encode to avi in the correct aspect ratio and then re-encode again to mpeg2.
     
  17. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  19. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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  20. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Yeah, it should be 75%, not 83%.

    There's no telling what the transform is doing to the video, but you're going about it the wrong way. Adobe Premiere can automatically letterbox video which doesn't match the aspect ratio of the project, you just have to tell it to do it.

    1. Set the aspect ratio of the project to DV 4:3 (0.9), because 4:3 is what you want to output.

    2. Import your widescreen video clip, but don't put it on the timeline yet. Premiere probably doesn't realize that the video is widescreen. You need to tell it that it is.

    3. Make sure the clip is highlighted in the project bin. Go to the Clip menu and choose Advanced Options-->Pixel Aspect Ratio. If it doesn't say DV Widescreen (1.2) then make it so. (On my computer Premiere always assumes that my DV files are 4:3.)

    4. Now you need to tell Premiere to letterbox the clip. Go the Clip menu again, choose Video Options, and put a check mark on Preserve Aspect Ratio. If you want you can also change the color of the "aspect fill" (the black bars) from black to something else, maybe a color suitable to the theme of the video.

    5. Now add the clip to the timeline. You should see the clip properly letterboxed on the screen.

    Also, if your DVD player is able to play DVD-RW, I recommend you burn DVD-RW for testing until you know everything is perfect, then you can burn a DVD-R. It's much cheaper.
     

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